21 August 2013

Verdict: Buy it cheap

If you want to know the details, keep reading.

So, the folks at Humble Bundle have been holding an EA sale. That is, you can pay what you want (as little as 1$) for a bundle containing several games by EA. As an added bonus, all sales (minus a customizable tip to Humble Bundle) will go to various charities.

The way I see it, EA’s purpose for doing this is twofold: first, since you need Origin to get all the games (most of them are still available on Steam, though), then you have to install it and register an account. Second, by giving all to charities, they improve their reputation. As such, they increase their market penetration, and look like good guys. I’m fairly sure they’ll write off the lost sales as “marketing expenses”, so I’d say it’s a good move from them.

Now, I already own Dead Space and Battlefield 3 on my PS3, and Dead Space 3 was given to me by EA as an apology for SimCity. Medal of Honor is complete crap in game form, and I’m not interested by either The Sims 3 or Burnout Paradise. Which left two games: Crysis 2 and Mirror’s Edge. In the end I still bought the whole bundle for the “charity” aspect and because paying 10$ for two good games is still a bargain.

I burned through Crysis 2 this week end, so I figured I could write a short review on it here.

Crysis 2: The Delirium Corp review

(Because that sounds professional)

In a nutshell, Crysis 2 was a good game. And while I probably won’t be thinking about it for long, I still don’t feel like I’ve wasted my time playing it. For the record, I only played the single player mode, on the relatively easy “Soldier” (also known as “normal”) difficulty level.

So, the game’s plot is incredibly generic: ancient aliens known as the Ceph are resurging to take back what was once theirs, and the only thing that can stop them is a suit reverse engineered from their own technology. Of course, said suit is worn by the protagonist. So you get to walk around New York and look at the pretty lighting while killing both aliens and evil mercenaries out to get you for poorly justified reasons. By the way, I’m not joking about the pretty lighting: that game came out in 2011 and it still holds up. I’d even go as far as to say it looks better than Battlefield 3, as it is not as blurry and color corrected. The sounds work is good, although the soundtrack is your standard issue bombastic epic fest, and is kinda forgettable.

The gameplay itself is very tight, in the sense that very little feels “tacked on”, with the possible exception of the upgrade system (but maybe it’s more useful on harder difficulty settings). And while the cloaking makes it very easy to sneak through most fights, it’s still refreshing to finally see a first person shooter where you have more options than simply “kill everyone”. And also, while the game itself is very linear, you still have many different ways to deal with the various challenges it throws at you: during a fight, youc an cloak to flank your enemies, get your hands on a nearby turret, climb up to snipe enemies, activate your armor and rush in with a shotgun, or whatever you can think of at the moment, which really mixes up things a bit compared to your usual cover based shooting tedium that is so common in modern shooters.

That, coupled with the very good pacing (they let you catch your breath after each action moment) made the game entertaining through and through, and it rarely felt boring or repetitive.

So, if you like first person shooters, and are looking for an enjoyable single player experience, you should get it. It’s relatively short, though (I spent 8 hours playing it according to Origin), so wait until you can find it at a discounted price. If you’re reading this before wednesday, august 28, it means the bundle is still active, and you should definitely drop a few buck to get it. It’s worth it.